7 Floridian Craft beers for 'American Craft Beer Week'

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Every day this week we will be featuring a new craft beer! Why? Well, it's 'American Craft Beer' Week' and when the boss says you have to cover beer for the week, well, it's a tough job but I guess I'll put on a fake smile and participate (somebody has to do it).

1) Monday, May 15 - Orange Blossom Pilsner (OBP)

If you are new to craft beer this is a great place to start. Especially if you are prone to drinking traditional American pilsners like Miller Lite (ABV 4.2%). Orange Blossom (ABV %5.5) is still in the pilsner family so your taste buds won't be too far from home base. The beer is made with Florida orange blossom honey, but it won't be sweet like you may expect since the sugar is fermented. OBP is crisp and clean.

I found this beer on tap at Park Tavern in Delray Beach. What's great is I managed to hit their happy hour (daily from 5 pm to 7 pm) and all their draft beer is only $4.

2) Tuesday, May 16 - Floridian Hefeweizen

Floridian Hefeweizen (ABV 5.2%) is another easy entry into the world of craft beer. This German-style wheat beer is brewed at a local crowd favorite, the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park. The slogan for the beer is "Full on flavor, light on the palate," and has aromas of bananas, cloves, and citrus. The Floridian is readily available at many local restaurants. I enjoyed my pint at The Butcher Shop (pictured above), a wonderful new restaurant in West Palm Beach. A cool thing about the Funky Buddha Brewery is you can go chill in the Tap Room with your friends, try out all their beers, and eat from their new craft food menu.

3) Wednesday, May 17 - Der Chancellor

Der Chancellor from Tequesta Brewing Company is a German Kolsch (5.3% ABV). This one still has the floral elements I like, provided from the German Noble Hops, and a blend of Maltiness. I find this popular craft beer on tap everywhere (I had it this week at Rocco's Tacos on Clematis).

4) Thursday, May 18 - Hop Gun IPA - Funky Buddha

I wasn't sure what to try for today's beer so I thought, "Let's go to the store and see what's popular." Turns out there was only one six-pack of Hop Gun IPA left and I took that as a sign I should try it out. Hop Gun IPA (ABV 7.0%) is an India Pale Ale (IPA) and this one has flavors of grapefruit and pineapple. As a new craft beer drinker, I knew this "hops moment" would come. I'm not sure why I did not enjoy this beer.  Was it all the extra hops or the fruit flavors (I'm not fond of grapefruit or pineapples)? I did enjoy the smooth caramel malts in the beer. Obviously, I am in the wrong about this brew because Publix was sold out!  But, I am going to start stocking my fridge with Tuesday's beer the Floridian from the same brewery. 

6) Friday, May 19 - Copperpoint Lager

Last night I pretended like I was rich and went to the Seafood Bar at The Breakers Palm Beach with some friends for my birthday. I tried a craft beer style that was delightful; the Copperpoint Lager (5.0% ABV). This is a German style lager with a hint of malt sweetness.  It was very easy to drink, very smooth, and something I would stock in my fridge. The brewery says it's supposed to taste like toasted bread.  Who doesn't want bread?! This beer as an IBU (International Bittering Units) of 18. So what I've learned this week is I don't like a bitter beer or a hoppy beer. That's why this Lager is something that tantalized my taste buds.  

6) Saturday, May 20 - Islamorada Beer Company's Sandbar Sunday

My buddy Kevin in our newsroom is a craft beer connoisseur and he mentioned I was missing a key flavor in my beer journey. I needed to try a wheat ale. I chose to try Sandbar Sunday from Islamorada beer company. Not only is it available in Publix but they have two breweries in South Florida. There is a location in Fort Pierce that is 25,000 square feet. This beer is not bitter its IBU is only 16 (look at me talking craft beer terms) and its ABV is 4.75%. What's weird about the beer is it literally tastes like its name "Sandbar Sunday."  This would be a perfect day on the water in the hot Florida sun. The brewery says it goes great with your catch of the day!

7) Sunday, May 21 - Saltwater Brewery's LocAle

LocAle (3.7 ABV) is from Delray's Saltwater Brewery. It has a low bitterness with a 12 and has a very smooth "Honey Biscuit" finish".  This is a beer I could drink all day long. This one is on tap at Jardin on Clematis Street. I've actually have been a fan of these guys for a long time because they have developed an alternative to the six-pack plastic rings (you know the litter that affects our sea life).

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